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Icom AG-35 Preamp Story :-)

Since lately messages have been a little on the sour note, I thought I share
with you a great story:

Over a week ago I didn't set a menu control switch on my TS2000 and blew my
ICOM Preamp. Bummer big time.

Now lucky me, the day it happened was relatively warm (!!!) in Winnipeg and
I decided to take the preamp of the mast and take a look at it. Couldn't see
a bit (what was I expecting???). So, next thing is browsing the web and the
boards for anything related to the AG-35 and a nice accidental load of 50
Watt HF. Most folks with same experiences mentioned that it blows the
GAASFet and that this transistor is out of production. Now how about that
for good news.

Since I didn't have a service manual, there was no way of telling what the
transistor was. Back to the boards and folks (bless their heart) talked
about the 3SK121. Okay, I said, let's find one on the Internet and HURRAY
you can buy it in mass quantities for $50 to 500 minimum orders. NO WAY.
Back to the drawing board.

Maybe I should call ICOM and see how much a repair is. Okay, called ICOM
Canada and its $90 an hour repair time plus parts plus shipping. Ouch!!! And
by the way we don't have the transistor in stock. HMMMMM. Okay let's call
ICOM USA and YES, they have the transistor and can ship it to me in Canada.
I ordered three (just in case), $ 4 a piece and I had them today in Winnipeg
(3days+). ICOM USA I am very impressed.

I won't go into too many details about my attempts to remove the old
transistor and put a new one in. Let's call it a combination of poor
eyesight and old soldering iron, but hey I had it in after 20 minutes.
Hooked the preamp up, power, and it WORKED. Nice amplification and signals
again. Thanks to all of you who were willing to share your story about the
ICOM Preamp, I was back in business. Now, if I just could get it up on the
mast again. Maybe tomorrow?

73, Stefan VE4NSA
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